Norman Allan
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Art and Fiction

 
Chapter Thirty Eight

When it became known that the surviving Beatles would reconstitute to gig at El Stone, an American networks had decided to get hold of the live coverage. The Incompetent Evil Genius, when he had first planned his crusade for world domination, had not counted on such co-operation. With this sort of dissemination His campaign might take minutes rather than days. He smiled as he thought of his coming triumph, though on his alien face his sheepish smile appeared a wolfish leer. His plan was this:-

Setting off under cover of earth from his Marrakech Express headquarters, he would burrow up to El Stone in his mechanical mole and bore right into the Hashishmas pipe itself, tunnelling up into the basin unobserved from below. There, leaving the mole in his all-environment suit, he would make his way up the pipeís vent to the bowl. Cutting through the metal grill with a portable blow torch, he would gain access to the fire itself. Protected by his space suit, he would leaf up through the burning offerings (supplies of nirvana had been imported from Colombia (footnote one), and emerge atop the sacred fire. Then he had only to pull the rip cord on his suit and it would fall away, all but the fire proof boots, revealing himself resplendent in his All-Conquering-Hero togs: toga, diadem, purple cloak and ray gun.

By this time, two hundred World War Two stratocruisers, taking off from his secret desert airfield, should have passed over El Stone. In the stratocruisers were the Incompetent Evil Genius' robots, dressed up like London fuzz, each mounted on a camel. Ten thousand camel mounted London bobbies, then, would parachute into the canyon and proceed to bust the proceedings. It was a cumbersome trick, yet elegant.

The Incompetent Evil Genius was timing his two pronged assault on El Stone and the world so that the busting would just be getting into full swing when he emerged in His Glory atop the sacred flames. He would press a button on his belt and, from the extra-loud-speakers he had hidden disguised as stones around the walls of the canyon, a recorded message would clarion: "Stop! Attend to the Words of the Exalted One." Co-instantly, the Incompetent Evil Genius would depress a second switch, deactivating the robot fuzz. Then, received with worship by the masses below (having delivered them from the bust) he would deliver his sermon on "The Cosmic Inevitability of His Felicitous Mastery", explaining the multitudinous advantages, and the inescapable fitness, of his more than benevolent conquest and dictatorship of the world. With the world wide T.V. coverage, the Incompetent Evil Genius was confident his opening salvo should complete his campaign. The world would bow to his will: out of respect for the command of his voice which could arrest ten thousand policeman; they'd grovel in gratitude to him for his solution to the gi'me grub problem; and swoon with joy, amazement, and relief at having finally found a being who was so perfectly suited to the job of governing the world. Hosanna Hosanna.


The stage was set. Ten billion Deofilus butterflies fluttered round the canyon of El Stone summonsed by the music of the pipe - sh.az.aUm - and by the amplified rock. Ten billion God's wings pulsed in the music, light web, and two and a half million people crowded into the gorge. Bob Dylan was on stage as the sun descended singing about Jesus and the second coming. He was the focus of five million eyes, five million ears. A billion more watched on television. Never had so many people focused on one shared happening.

John Lennon joined Dylan on stage. A hushed muttering rippled through the crowd.

"I thought he was dead. Was that a hoax?"

"He's here! He's alive. He's here."

Paul, George, and Ringo followed Lennon on to the stage as John beings to sing, "I am he as you are he and we are he and we are all together." (footnote two)


Two years before, Isador and Elenor had left Chris' burnt-out Sony and set out through Yusuf's window to dance on the fields of Morocco. By the end of that first summer there had been thousands of wings to dance with them By the end of the second summer there had been millions to dance above El Stone. Now, in the year zero, there were billions. What places... spaces had these billions travelled, and where now did they dwell?

The psychic existence of the giíme grub is like a ball of light: very pure, innocent, isolated ball of light, very small, glowing in the here and now, a small space-time focus extending little further than the next leaf, the next game, the next smile. But the billion lights that hovered above El Stone had first been kindled and nurtured in desolation: ten billion gutter-waifs from the bleak fields and starvation.

Pupation is a sleep. Awakening as a butterfly is like awakening into a field of infinite movement, a sea of infinite light patterned extending forever. (footnote three) Awakening in Roaratuni, a world already structured and musicked, is an awakening into a lightweb connecting in innumerable directions, each like an oceanís surface, vibrating meaningfully and signed with love.

To the wings of Morocco in the year zero, emerging from the cocoon was an awakening into a hunger filled chaos, devoid of the filters of meaning, cut off from all tradition, language, devoid of music. Some few perhaps had heard a snippet of a country chord or a Sufi chant, some few. But to a great extent this matrix of light summoned by the Hashishmas pipeís sh.az.aUm call was inchoate, unformed. And now the light of the ten billion wings filtered through the musical consciousness of all them hippie bands, a redistillation of a spirit that went unbroken to the Nilotic-Joju, carried to the world through nobody knows what trouble is slave ships blue to New Orleans: and trickling out from that same source through the ley lines through all the stone rings and magic places into the skylark Celts, yes, and the little people, and Dylan on the stage rocking with the Beatles at El Stone. It was a musical education: a tuning to the state of the art.


At ten minutes to midnight Carlo, dressed as Pasha dressed as the Master of Ceremonies, invites the surviving Dead to join the others jamming on the stage.

The Incompetent Evil Geniusí mechanical mole tunnelled up into the basin of the pipe. Immediately the water in the basin began to drain away. (footnote four)


Chris Mango, Ishtar, Zak and the Roaratuni party arrived at El Stone as the greying Dead were singing come hear Uncle Johnís band playing to the tide (come along or go alone, heís come to take his children homeÖ)

Just at that moments, a small roundish figure made its way onto the stage carrying a black cube (about a foot across) with a lead coming out from one of the bottom corners. It was Professor Bookish, believing he was dead and in the service of God, serving the Company. The black box he carried was "Ultimo", the musical computer, the Berberís weapon. (For though the Berber was gone, his programs lingered on.) Beamish plugged the "Ultimo" into the amps. BUZZ. Most of its emissions were ultrasonic. Instantly it hypnotised and zombisized the throng. "Hot-dogs, Pepsi, Coke," they shouted with one voice. "Hot-dogs, Pepsi, Coke!" ten billion Godís wings flashed on and off like a neon sign.

The Roaratuni party sang with all their might to keep the insidious emanations of "Ultimo" from overwhelming them.

"Hot-dogs, Pepsi, Coke," shrilled a psychospludge.

Chris Salamango glared at the black kabbaka box, and reached for his knife.


The Incompetent Evil Genius swam up through the pipeís rose waters to the mouth of the vent, shimmied up the vent, cut his way through to the bowl, leafed his way up through the fire. The stratocruisers arrived over the canyon with their camel-fuzz-bombs. Camels and fuzz floated down onto the crowd and commenced to bust heads and arrest freaks.

The Incompetent Evil Genius emerged on top of the hot nirvana leaf pyre, his visor obscured with smoke and char. He pulled the rip cord. His suit, but not his fire proof boots, fell away. At this moment the water in the basin drained away passed the main vent and a hot blast surged down ten thousand throats giving rise to an almighty coughing and spluttering. "Stop! Attend to the Word of the Exalted One!" The IEG pressed the button to deactivate the fuzz. The Incompetent Evil Genius cleared his throat, achmmmÖ

"Coke, Pepsi, Hot-dogs!"

"Damn!" The Incompetent Evil Genius lifted a digit of a paw into the air, a gesture of expectancy, and sent out a telepathic call. A clock-work mouse dashed rapidly across the stage and bit "Ultimoís" lead injecting a stream of "Electronic worms" into the wirings. "Ultimo" jammed to silence.

The crowd blinked from the zombied sleep. Now there was no focus of attention. The electrical worms had chained all the power of the El Stone Concert generators, and there was no amplified music for a focus.

Chris Salamango sheathed the flute-knife (unplayed), and mounted the stage. Ishtar, riding Zak, Hallelujah, and much of the fauna in the Roaratuni party followed.


On top of the holy pyre the Incompetent Evil Genius was getting a lot of smoke in his eyes, and his lungs. He was getting high! But, despite this, he noticed, to his horror, that his plan had misfired, for standing in the middle of the pipeís forty foot bowl, a hundred meters in the air, he couldn't be seen from the ground.

"Well, it's gracious to make mistakes sometimes," thought the Incompetent Evil Genius.

He made his way carefully through the flaming leaf over to the rim of the bowl and depressed the button on his belt to re-announce himself. "Stop! Attend to the Word of the Exalted One!"


"That must be my cue," thought Chris, and he stepped forward to sing out his message to the masses. "No tootsi whutís he! Wajuju now!"


By this time the Incompetent Evil Genius' ego was coming adrift. The smoke all round hazed and phased him. The Wheritzat music began to reach in and the patterned catalytic lights...

The Incompetent Evil Genius sat down at the edge of the gallery, atop the pipe, and looked down to the canyon floor, full of freaks and Rif raf, camels and the now still manikin fuzz, full of Roaratuni fauna and music and God's wings and dream dust. What a beautiful dream.

He though he saw elephants scattered in the crowd, reaching with their trunks into hempen sacks tied across their backs, reaching in and flinging seed high into the air. The God's wings flew down and each caught three grains of grass seed. Then the ten billion God's wings, a couple for every son and daughter of man, and a few left spare for forest and field, gracefully flew over the great El Stone pipe and rose in the up draft, rose into the stratosphere, and dispersed to everywhere.

The Incompetent Evil Genius looked up through the rising stream of light and saw the moon looking down at him. He joined his howling voice to the music.


And Chris Mango in his bliss, on the stage, looked up, and thought he saw, on the rim of the pipe,
a shaggy dog
baying at the moon.


* * *


My father was doing the dishes in my Brighton flat. The supper was over and we all liked its aftertaste. I sat on the window sill and watched my fatherís back: warm, familiar, cuddly and safe.

The sun was fading away leaving behind an orange and purple cloud.

My fatherís task was finished. He turned around. He smiled at me and then he looked at Chris, who was sitting on the floor in the corner. His eyes closed, his legs crossed. The last ray of the fading sun fell into the kitchen. It found Chris in the corner and fondled his hair. He sat there, quiet and peaceful. His head was glowing like gold.

"Chris, you are the Messiah," said my father.

"Yes, I am," said Chris, "but it is only a pipedream."

      

the end

sunset

or

a new dawn